A new study shows that Jehovah's Witnesses, known for their stand on refusing blood transfusions fair better after undergoing cardiac surgery than those who accept blood transfusions.
The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that cardiac patients who are Jehovah's Witnesses had better survival rates, shorter hospital stays, had a lesser number of additional operations from bleeding complications, and spent fewer days in intensive care than those patients who received blood transfusions.
The issue of blood for Jehovah’s Witnesses involves the most fundamental principles on which they as Christians base their lives. Blood is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible but it is mainly Acts 15:19-21 and related scriptures that give them cause to refuse transfusions.
Colleen Koch, a study author and professor of anaesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio told Bloomberg, ''How we care for Jehovah's Witness patients with this pretty extreme blood conservation doesn't put a patient at increased risk. Perhaps it needs to be examined more closely applying some of these practices to our routine cardiac surgery patients.''
The study found that while Jehovah's Witnesses were not the only patients who do not receive blood before or after surgery. They were, however, the only group that underwent particular blood conservation practices. These practices mean they have fewer heart attacks following their surgery.
Englewood Hospital in New Jersey recently achieved a 100 percent survival rate for coronary artery bypass surgery. 80 percent of surgeries performed in Englewood are bloodless.